JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
CHAIR OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19
LABOR SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
MASSIVE DEBT AND DEFICIT: AUSTRALIANS DESERVE BETTER THAN MORRISON’S WASTE AND RORTS
Australia’s Budget has never been weaker than it is right now under the Morrison-Joyce Government, with most of the Coalition’s economic damage inflicted in the seven years before the pandemic.
The Coalition’s shameful record of waste and rorts has contributed to what today’s Final Budget Outcome (FBO) confirms is the largest budget deficit and highest debt level in the nation’s history.
The deficit increased from $85.3 billion in 2019-20 to $134.2 billion in 2020-21, gross debt has more than tripled to $817 billion since 2013 and net debt increased to $592 billion.
While significant fiscal support has been necessary throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and Labor has been supportive of any spending that has helped Australians affected by the pandemic, this is generational debt without a generational dividend.
The Liberals and Nationals promised eight surpluses and delivered eight deficits – including the biggest in the nation’s history.
Even before the pandemic – and under Scott Morrison’s watch as Treasurer and Prime Minister - the Coalition had doubled Government debt.
With record levels of debt and massive deficits, which will remain for decades to come, it is absolutely critical that every dollar spent in the Budget is an efficient use of public funds and is based on a careful assessment of both need and benefit - not sprayed around using politically motivated colour-coded spreadsheets.
Unfortunately, under Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, the Budget is weighed down by wasteful spending, rorts and mismanagement.
There’s not enough to show for the trillion dollars of debt being racked up by this Government.
Whether it’s the billions of dollars in 21 new or topped-up special funds to pork barrel all the way to the election, jobs for mates, or expensive consultants and contractors, the FBO clearly illustrates this reckless and wasteful approach has negative fiscal consequences which will be paid for by generations to come.
Australians are already paying for the Morrison Government’s mistakes with vaccines and quarantine, which forced more than half the nation into lockdown and continue to wipe billions of dollars a week from the nation’s economy.
Instead of a comprehensive plan to create secure jobs and to get flatlining wages moving again, the Coalition’s cuts to support, ideological attacks on job security and superannuation, and a Budget riddled with rorts and waste, will only make things worse.
You can’t trust the Liberals with the economy and you can’t trust Scott Morrison to manage the Budget in a way that serves all Australians rather than his own political interests.
THURSDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2021